Incivility In Charlottesville

This video came out today of some rude moron confronting Sen. Allen in Charlottesville. Allah links to the site where this “Real Man” that JFK talked about today gives us his side of the story:

My name is Mike Stark. I am a law student at the University of Virginia, a marine, and a citizen journalist. Earlier today at a public event, I was attempting to ask Senator Allen a question about his sealed divorce record and his arrest in the 1970s, both of which are in the public domain. His people assaulted me, put me in a headlock, and wrestled me to the ground. Video footage is available here, from an NBC affiliate.
I demand that Senator Allen fire the staffers who beat up a constituent attempting to use his constitutional right to petition his government. I also want to know why Senator Allen would want his staffers to assault someone asking questions about matters of public record in the heat of a political campaign. Why are his divorce records sealed? Why was he arrested in the 1970s? And why did his campaign batter me when I asked him about these questions.

I wasn’t aware that the ‘constitutional right to petition his government’ included rushing up to someone in a crowded hallway and screaming in their face. I guess my invite to join Volokh just went out the window…damn.
Evidently this lower-case ‘m’ Marine was asking Allen if he spit on his exwife. Now that’s the kind of kinky info we need to know! What with the peepee-smoking composing exploits of his opponent things are really geting interesting down in the Old Dominion!
This idiot was lucky he wasn’t shoved through a plate glass window for his stunt.

They’re Taking The Hobbits…

…To Isengard!
I was forced to do this by my daughter. I’m told this is all the rage amongst the 13-yr old set.

Tonight’s Sound Bite

On ABC World News Tonight, the very first story was the horse’s ass and the very last quote was a Democratic congressman*:

“I guess Kerry wasn’t content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too.”

Now, commenters on Jake Tapper’s blog are thanking him for “helping Republicans make this incredible non-story into one“, so I guess it’s stinging.
UPDATE: Whoopee! THE link. (*And I updated the quote to reflect it precisely.)

“Dirty Republican GOP Playbook Trick!”

If your stomach is strong enough, or if you just need to have your hair dried by a gale-force blast of outraged hubristic blowhardity, mosey on over to the oh-so-appropriately-named-in-this-case HotAir and be amazed.
You see, quoting JFK verbatim is a Dirty Republican GOP Playbook Trick!
Anyone would know that a veteran like JFK (who first rose to national prominence by testifying to Congress about how his fellow soldiers in Vietnam were murderers and rapists) would never speak ill of the troops.
Dirty Republican GOP Playbook Trick!
JFK will not apologize for being wrong! That would be like apologizing to a Secret Service agent for running into him while skiing! The Agent must apologize!
Dirty Republican GOP Playbook Trick!
And our treat, you farce of a human.

Moqtada, Moqtada ~ He’s Our Man!

If he can’t manipulate al-Maliki like a little girl, NO one can!

The signs of the militias are everywhere at the Sholeh police station.
Posters celebrating Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Mahdi Army militia, dot the building’s walls. The police chief sometimes remarks that Shiite militias should wipe out all Sunnis. Visitors to this violent neighborhood in the Iraqi capital whisper that nearly all the police officers have split loyalties.
And then one rainy night this month, the Sholeh police set up an ambush and killed Army Cpl. Kenny F. Stanton Jr., a 20-year-old budding journalist, his unit said. At the time, Stanton and other members of the unit had been trailing a group of Sholeh police escorting known Mahdi Army members.
How can we expect ordinary Iraqis to trust the police when we don’t even trust them not to kill our own men?” asked Capt. Alexander Shaw…

No American should have to ask that question.

John Kerry


…speaks.

…”Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs – “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq,” he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps.

That’s all I’ll offer on the subject, since other friends have his horse’s a$$ on a platter already.

We’ve Had 103 Troops Killed So Far This Month

So I BET they were happier than dogsh*t to get these orders.

U.S. Obeys Order to Abandon Checkpoints
U.S. troops on Tuesday abandoned checkpoints around the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City on orders from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the latest in a series of moves by the Iraqi leader to assert his authority with the U.S. administration.
…U.S. forces disappeared from the checkpoints within hours of the order to remove the around-the-clock barriers by 5:00 p.m. (1400 GMT), setting off celebrations among civilians and armed men gathered on the edge of the sprawling slum that is under the control of the Mahdi Army militia run by radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Iraqi troops loaded coils of barbed wire and red traffic cones onto pickup trucks, while small groups of men and children danced in circles chanting slogans praising al-Sadr, who earlier Tuesday had ordered the area closed to the Iraqi government until U.S. troops lifted what he called their “siege” of the neighborhood.
Al-Maliki’s order underscored the his government’s reliance of Shiite support and sensitivity to their concerns.

Damn. I mean DAMN.
Why don’t we just declare the fat little f*ck ‘Shah’ and get the misery over with?

I Hate to Be an Alarmist

…but HOLY CRAP!!

Lego Says It’s Running Out of Toys
Children hoping to get Lego toys for Christmas may be in for a disappointment.
The Danish toy maker is having a hard time keeping up with demand for its popular plastic building blocks as toy stores stack their inventories for the Christmas season, a company official said Tuesday.

When Crusader hears this, he’ll be curled up in the fetal position so fast it’ll make your Lego X-Wing fighter spin.

Oh

YEAH.

The MOST wonderful day of the year is HERE.
I’d like to recommend a site. She’s a web friend who’s the most marvelous photographer…of haunted places.
So be safe out there. And have a GHOUL old time.

The Red Light District

Chapter One: Smile for the Camera.

The systems work like this: Cameras are usually triggered by road sensors when a car encroaches on an intersection after the light has turned red. A camera snaps a picture of the license tag and sometimes photographs the driver, too. That information is then usually forwarded to the local police department to interpret, and a citation is issued. Some systems use short video “clips” instead of a photograph.
…That’s work that used to tie up traffic enforcers. But freeing up police officers is hardly the only allure to towns and cities. Many (but not all) have found the traffic cameras to be lucrative as well.
Perhaps the most dramatic example is the District of Columbia’s cash cow. The district likes to boast that it has reduced red-light violations at 49 intersections by two-thirds since the program started in 1999 — but it’s also raked in more than $37 million in revenue from tickets, mostly from nonresidents. (Running a red light there is a $75 fine.)
Counting D.C.’s automated speed-enforcement program, the local government has amassed some $130 million from the electronic monitoring programs, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. That group has praised the results of the red-light cameras but has been wary of D.C.’s motives.
…The picture is muddier than you might think. According to a comprehensive, 2005 study sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, red-light cameras indeed reduced total “T-bone” crashes by 25%. But because drivers at camera-equipped intersections seem to slam on the brakes so they won’t get a ticket, total rear-end crashes increased 15%, and injury rear-end crashes jumped 24%.
…That doesn’t mean the city is going any easier on drivers, however.
In July, the city [San Diego] also passed an ordinance allowing citations to be issued after a “grace period” of just one-tenth of a second after a traffic signal turns red (instead of the previous 0.6 seconds), which will boost the number of tickets and the dollars coming into city coffers.

Just to Show Off in This Joyous Holiday Season

My New Orleans paintings ~ church and graveyards ~ below the fold.

Read more »

Eliot Spitzer: Fortunate Son

With thanks to Insta, here’s candidate for NY Governor Spitzer’s stand on housing in NY State:

New York State’s housing crisis threatens to strangle our potential for economic growth and crush the dreams of many families. New York State consistently ranks among the five worst states in the nation on housing affordability, with more than 1.6 million households spending more than 35 percent of their income on housing. We are in this situation because, over the past decade, our leaders in Albany have failed to make affordable housing a priority.
Starting on Day One of the Spitzer administration, we will begin work to develop a comprehensive plan to increase the supply of affordable and quality rental housing and expand homeownership opportunities throughout the state.
…Finally, we should partner with local communities to encourage reform of zoning laws and permitting and approval processes to allow for higher densities of residential housing and make it easier for sites to become buildable.

Via the Taxprof, it seems that Eliot certainly has found affordable housing:

Interesting article in the Sunday New York Daily News: Empire of the Son, by Douglas Feiden:

Spitzer has lived rent-free with his family at 985 Fifth Ave. for 13 years. The 25-story tower off 79th St. has just two apartments per floor and terraces that look down at the Metropolitan Museum of Art….Thanks to his dad’s generosity, Spitzer, his wife and three daughters have lived in a home graced with at least three bedrooms, four baths, a balcony, library and sweeping vistas of Central Park….
Vetted by lawyers and accountants, the living arrangement is both lawful and proper, said Darren Dopp, Spitzer’s communications director: The father pays an annual gift tax on the present he gives his son. “These and other financial matters are handled by professionals who ensure that everything is done in strict accordance with city, state and federal law,” Dopp said. The market value of the gift is reported annually on real estate tax filings and on Bernard Spitzer’s tax returns. But citing privacy, Dopp declined to disclose the apartment’s rent, the gift’s value or the amount of the gift tax paid. Three real estate brokers familiar with the building say that a spread of comparable size could lease for $16,000 to $20,000 a month. That puts the gift’s current value at an estimated $192,000 to $240,000 a year.

I wonder if he’s willing to share that arrangement with other citizens of NY if he wins? At the very least, since he’s in favor of “higher densities” in residential housing, I’m sure he’ll subdivide his free apartment so that a few disadvantaged families can move in, no? What better way to “partner with local communities”?

The MOST

…wonderful time of the year. My ever present desk companion (on the left) and his new friend (for whose company he thanks Kcruella with all his heart)
agree.

Rest Easy, Paris

A young woman lies near death after being caught by a “yoot” Bus-B-Q. Parsing the report at Powerline,

Meanwhile, the French government says it will step up “transport security.” Maybe they intend to follow our example and ban liquids and gels on buses.

That would be typically French ~ the failure to notice that our ban of flammables ‘on‘ the bus means carried by passengers ‘ON‘ the inside.
Not spread like a Dijon honey Bus-B-Q glaze ‘on‘ the outside.

Surrender In Virdhimmia

Via Michelle Malkin comes this story concerning the College of William and Mary:

WILLIAMSBURG — Officials at the College of William and Mary have removed a 2-foot-high gold cross from a campus chapel they say is increasingly used for nonreligious events.
“In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area,” read a recent e-mail to Wren Building employees.
The e-mail came from Melissa Engimann, assistant director for historic campus, according to The Flat Hat college newspaper Web site.
The chapel is in the Sir Christopher Wren Building, which was finished in 1699 and is used for some of the school’s biggest ceremonies. Incoming freshmen take the honor pledge in the chapel during orientation, and seniors march through it on their way to commencement.

Of course, don’t you dare question the motives of the Administrators:

(William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol) “Let me be clear. I have not banished the cross from the Wren Chapel. The chapel, as you know, is used for religious ceremonies by members of all faiths. The cross will remain in the chapel and be displayed on the altar at appropriate religious services.
“But the chapel is also used frequently for college events that are secular in nature — and should be open to students and staff of all beliefs. “

So is he saying that before there were guards at the door that stopped jews from entering when the cross was there?
And anyway, how far had they sunk before this that all that is left is a 2 foot cross?
As Michelle says “How about leaving the cross where it stands and telling students to grow up and demonstrate real tolerance?”
Amen to that.

Green Tax

Here’s a shock: The wise and all-knowing lefty UK Ministers have decided that the best way to fight perceived climate change is via a tax

HARD-WORKING families face crippling new bills as the Government fights global warming with a raft of stinging taxes.
But critics accused ministers of forcing the public to pay for their failure to react earlier to the crisis.
Shadow Environment Secretary Peter Ainsworth said last night: “We don’t need a programme of green taxes: We need a green programme, full stop.
“This is just a list of taxes when what we need is a system of mutually reinforcing carrots and sticks.”
He was speaking after it was revealed that Environment Secretary David Miliband had already drawn up sweeping green tax plans which he has put to Gordon Brown.
He wrote to the Chancellor: “As our understanding of climate change increases, it is clear more needs to be done.”

Funny, it seems to me that as our understanding grows the less we actually understand about the globe’s weather.
I especially liked this bit:

The green proposals are revealed as leaked documents show people living in crime-free areas are to be penalised with a giant hike in council tax.

That’s equality in action, friends: if the thugs don’t steal from you then the government has to, or you’re deprived of your constitutional right to be pillaged.
Oh, and prepare for massive snowstorms in the UK:

Mr Brown has recruited ex-US vice-president Al Gore as his green guru. He will advise the Chancellor on international environmental issues.

You can’t say you haven’t been warned, Mr. Brown.

Oh, Bingley Went to Scotland and Did He Lie

Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

A revolution is afoot at one of Scotland’s most venerable kilt-makers: Among traditional tartans there are hip versions in denim, camouflage, leather and, for the adventurous, see-through pink plastic.


So where’d ya hide that wee, duty frae number, little man? I knew it couldna been all aboot ‘the castle’. Whilst there be reams a’ foine advice aboot dealin’ wi’ the odd looks ye get, once in a wee while moit ye nae ken the tender feelin’s a’ yer bride? An’ moind the sensibilities a’ the general public wot’s got ta luck at ye?
A warm Swill salute to marc for exposing this travesty.
UPDATE: Of course, there are worse things, fashionwise.

A MOBILE phone thief who wore an offensive T-shirt in court escaped a contempt rap yesterday.
Christopher Davidson, 18, was sent from the dock for wearing the top containing the phrase:
Read this while I check out your t*ts.

Via Fark

“Old Men Forget”

And I did, too, until reminded by Dave’s post about St. Crispin’s Day. And I have to share why I have such fondness for Branagh’s “Henry the Fifth”. It’s not all the magnificence of a truly magnificent film.

In all of Orange County, it was only playing at a little art house theatre in Laguna Beach. I was desperate to see it and major dad thought we could hit their Saturday matinee with Ebola and be pretty safe. Getting there just as the theatre opened, we found seats we could isolate ourselves in and still see. We warned everyone who went to sit near us that “we’ve got a third-grader with us.” Almost to a one they all said “thanks for letting us know” and would move a row or two away. Except for one guy who, bless his heart, said “Really? That’s okay ~ I’d be curious to know what he thinks of it.” And he plopped down right in front of us.
This is no exaggeration ~ through the whole long thing, the one and ONLY time Ebola opened his mouth was as the French nobles were staging on the hill above the field. The English were done with “St. Crispin’s Day” speeches and scurrying through the cold and damp to their positions behind the barricades. As they stared at each other, Ebola whispered, “Mommy?”
“What honey?” I whispered back.
“Who are the bad guys?” he asked.
“The clean ones.”
“Okay.”
And that was it.
Magical.

Crusader Sends Word of What’s Shaping Up to Be

…an epic Naval battle.

What has a better ring to it?
The USS America and the “America-class” of aircraft carriers? Or the USS Gerald R. Ford and the “Ford-class”?
…”We just find it appalling that the name of the country has been pushed aside in favor of living politicians,” said Walt Waite, the association’s vice president. “The name of the country belongs on a carrier well before individuals and politicians especially living ones. What better way to start the new class than the America?

My country? ‘Tis. I agree.

Oh, That Camille Paglia

She’s a pistol. Selected gems…

…Since when does the Democratic Party use any gay issue in this coldblooded way as a token on the chessboard? You’d expect this stuff from right-wing ideologues, not progressives.
…I kept hearing on the radio the stentorian voices of Democratic women politicians saying that Foley was “preying on children.” When will this stop? This blurring of the line between teenagers and children — who should be vigilantly protected by any society….The Foley scandal exploded without any proof of a documented sex act — unlike the case of the late congressman Gerry Studds, who had sex with a page and who was literally applauded by fellow Democrats when they refused to vote for his censure.
…And with the Democrats’ record of sex scandals, what the hell were they thinking of?

Put your feet up and set a spell.

Ask The Aussie Imam

Iowahawk helpfully gets us answers to today’s pressing questions.
(Thanks to AllahPundit for the spiritual pointer)

I Think Maybe the Michael J. Fox Campaign Spots

…weren’t such a great idea. She was up in the polls by 9 points a week ago.

Hey

Works

…Fifty or so other Republican candidates have also been made targets in a sophisticated “Google bombing” campaign intended to game the search engine’s ranking algorithms.

for me. But then, Google’s been a manipulated tool for a long time round these parts.

This Should Make For Some Interesting Clinical Trials

I’m not sure I see a downside to this newest ‘malady':

LONDON – Researchers are struggling to understand a rare medical condition where sufferers unknowingly demand, or actually have, sex while asleep, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.
Research into sexsomnia — making sexual advances towards another person while asleep — has been hampered as sufferers are so embarrassed by the problem they tend not to own up to it, while doctors do not ask about it.
As yet there is no cure for the condition, which often leads to difficulties in relationships.

I’m not sure what the ‘difficulties’ are that it leads to; it seems to me it should make a lot of husbands and wives happier: he gets what he wants and she still gets to sleep.

Meanwhile Trajanovic is devising a procedure for diagnosing sexsomnia in legal cases where sufferers have been accused of sexual assault.

A pity the name “Twinkie Defense” is already taken…

Cabs in the City Are Expensive

And getting more so. What a surprise.

A New York minute just got a lot more expensive.
That’s because the Taxi and Limousine Commission yesterday doubled the cost of being stuck in traffic in a cab.
Riders now pay 20 cents a minute for “wait time” – a price that hasn’t changed in 16 years – but yesterday, officials voted unanimously to raise the rate to 40 cents a minute at a meeting in TLC headquarters.
Adding insult to injury, the wait-time rate will now click in when a cab starts going less than 12 miles per hour. Currently, the rate takes effect at under 6 mph.

What WAS the surprise ~ coming from Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman Matthew Daus’ mouth, in the city of the WTC gaping-hole-in-the-ground ~ was this statement:

In addition to the fare hike, the eight-member board also approved:
…*A controversial move eliminating the requirement that cabbies demonstrate they are legal U.S. residents.
They now will only have to produce their original Social Security card and a valid driver’s license.
We don’t have any business asking people if they are a citizen or not,” Daus said.

People who confuse ‘legal’ with ‘citizen’ have no business being in such a position. They might confuse other important stuff, wouldn’t you think?

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